High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group

The Obama Administration just announced the creation of a new, multi-institution group that will take over the questioning of high-value suspects in the “war on terror.” According to the Los Angeles Times, interrogators will “stay within the parameters of the Army Field Manual when questioning suspects,” meaning no torture.

This comes on a day when we will be reading new details about torture and mistreatment contained in a CIA inspector general’s report  Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. continues to deliberate on whether to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate past interrogation abuses.

Even those of us who have followed this issue closely are challenged to keep the timeline straight. Foreign Policy recently published a helpful summary, beginning with September 11. Of course, it’s possible to go much further back, including the Middle Ages. Newsweek just did one that started with the Crucifixion and end with waterboarding.

It’s important to remember where we’ve come from at this juncture. Although the Obama Administration would like to move forward without investigating the past, it’s going to stick to them like gum on a shoe. Better to know what happened — and hold the right people responsible — than close our eyes.